Wijk Aan Zee tidbits
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
gm Bruzon (by Fred Lucas)
Cuba’s Bruzon is having a good tournament. In the 9th round he crushed the European Champion Potkin with the Black pieces when the latter’s sense of danger completely betrayed him. Bruzon crashed thru on the Kingside with a brutal Queen move:
POSITION AFTER 23 MOVES:
Black stands a bit better. His Knight is more active (and dangerous!) than the White Bishop. At the same time, the open a-file and c-file will require some attention should Black want to penetrate into the White camp. Not withstanding these observations, White is quite solid and Black has no immediate threats.
Correct now is 24.Qb3!, planning to play 25.f3 should Black play 24…Ng5. INSTEAD, Potkin overestimated the …Ng5 idea and unnecessarily weakens himself.
24. h4?! Rfc8 25. Qd3?!
Once more, b3 was a better square.
25… Ra2 ofcourse!
Bruzon does not need to be asked twice to put his rook on the 7th rank!
Black now has serious threats, such as …Rc3 , or doubling on the 7th rank. White is probably not yet lost, though he must not play any more imprecisions. The best chance is 26.f3, and if Black takes the pawn with [26…Rc3 27. Qd4 Nxd2 28. Rxd2 Rxd2 29. Qxd2 Rxe3 then after 30. Kf2! Re5 31. Ra1! White gets annoying counterplay.
INSTEAD, Potkin jumped from the pan into the fire and finds himself immediately lost:
White must have completely overlooked Bruzon’s next move
26… Qg4 !
The threat is to simply take the g-pawn! Now 27.Bd2 Rc-c2! 28.Qxd5 h5! will win the Bishop.
27. Kg1 Rcc2
Black has some pretty impressive firepower in play!
28. Qxd5 what else? 28… Qxg3!
Ouch! White can not take it without getting immediately mated. Now is a good time to resign, but Potkin played on for a few more moves before throwing in the towel…
POSITION AFTER 20 MOVES:
Ofcourse White is completely winning! His attack on the Kingside can not be stopped as the Black pieces are all stuck over on the other side of the board. And Black must never take the Knight on f5 as he will surely get mated in a couple of moves.
BUT what the sadist in me really finds appealing about the finish is how Black is forced , after the next move, to make the last move he would have wanted to make!
Threatening to just take the Knight off!
21… Ndb8 !
The only move to avoid losing immediately
SUCH a picturesque position! Now that Black is mangled on the Queenside, White turns his attention to the King:
Threatening mate in 2 moves starting with Nf6-ch. Black’s next is forced as 22…gf5 goes off to 23.Qf3 with a quick mate.
22… Bxf5 23.exf5
The Knight can still not be taken and taking the Bishop on d5 allows 24.Nf6
23… Qxc3 24. fg hg 25. Qf3!
Now is the time to throw in the towel, but nobody wants to resign in 25 moves!
Black resigned on move 28, two moves shy of mate!